Wednesday, December 4, 2019

J/Newsletter- December 4th, 2019

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

It was a quiet week for J/Sailors around the Seven Seas and five continents spanning the globe.  In Spain, the enormous J/80 class in that world-leading sailing nation held their annual "mini-Worlds" in the picturesque and challenging waters of Santander, Spain. The J/80 Mundialito Regatta was hosted by the Real Club Maritimo Santander for a fleet of nearly two-dozen J/80s from across their sunny nation. Then, just across the English Channel to their north, the Hamble River Sailing Club held their penultimate weekend of sailing for their HYS Hamble Winter Series where a number of J/Crews are "in the chocolates" and expect to podium the event; not knowing whether it's the gold, silver, or bronze! More news on that after next weekend's grand finale.

J/99 British Yachting Awards winner
J/99 Wins British Yachting Awards- Best Performance Boat!

(London, England)- Key Yachting, the UK, Ireland, and Channel Islands distributor for J/Boats, enjoyed a glamorous evening at the Royal Thames Yacht Club on Monday night, for Chelsea Magazines’ British Yachting Awards. Marie-Claude Heys, Hannah Le Prevost, and Gemma Dunn represented Key Yachting and were joined by J/Boats President Jeff Johnstone, and a few British J/Boats owners.

J/UK British Yachting Award representatives
The new J/99 was crowned Racing Yacht/ Sportsboat of the year, a tough category. Voted for by readers of Sailing Today and Yachts & Yachting, presenter Rob Peake stated that upon her launch the winner had proved an instant hit in a string of successes for the shipyard. Accepting the award with Marie-Claude and daughters Gemma and Natalie were there to receive the award. Jeff Johnstone described how the boat was inspired by the growth of the double-handed racing scene, particularly in the United Kingdom. He continued by saying that Paul Heys was instrumental in driving the yard to fill a growing need. This is the first award for the boat, which is currently nominated for four international awards, including the prestigious European Yacht of the Year.

J/99 British Yachting Awards winnerThe final award of the evening was a new category, Lifetime Achievement sponsored by GJW Direct. This was awarded to Paul Heys and accepted by Paul's widow Marie-Claude. Before the presentation, Jeff delivered a wonderful and emotive speech, detailing the success of the “consummate salesperson”, who unlike other yacht brokers, relished gatherings of owners to compare notes and stories, because this was how the J/Family in the U.K. was established and flourished. Jeff himself stated, “the boat has little to do with it, it’s all about people. Energy breeds energy, and Paul was the energizer!”

For more information on all the categories, contenders, and of course the winners, check out the official British Yachting Awards website.

J/99 SAIL Best Boats Award winner
J/99 Wins SAIL Magazine Awards Best Boats- Performance Boat 31'+!

(Boston, MA)- Eleven of the nominees for SAIL Magazine’s 2020 Best Boats Awards have been advanced as winners for this annual recognition.

“Once again, the boatbuilding industry has shown how it never seems to run out of fresh ideas—something that is clearly evident in SAIL’s Best Boats contest,” says SAIL’s executive editor Adam Cort, who was joined in judging by associate editor Lydia Mullan, cruising editor Charles J. Doane, charter editor Zuzana Prochazka, veteran boat-reviewer Tom Dove and SAIL’s contributing editor Tom Hale.

J/99 SAIL Best Boats winnerOne of the winners of SAIL’s 2020 Best Boats Awards was the new J/99- awarded the Best Performance Boat over 31ft! Here is the commentary from the SAIL Best Boats Judges:

"It was a fun year for SAIL’s Best Boats judges with a number of mid-sized performance boats to sail trial. Alas, the downside to having so many boats to choose from is also having to pick a winner. This was especially tough because of the variety of boats involved. How do you compare, for example, our winner in this category with, say, the Sun Fast 3300? In the end, though, our judges decided to give the J/99 the nod for two reasons: build quality and breadth of sailing ability.

With respect to the build quality, the J/99 is wonderfully constructed: top to bottom, stem to stern. Topsides, the boat continues designer Al Johnstone’s use of plumb ends and elegantly sculpted cabin trunk to create a look that is all business, yet still elegant.

Belowdecks, the saloon and accommodations are well laid out, with just enough woodwork to keep things from looking sterile while still saving owners a lot of maintenance headaches. The rig is aluminum with a fixed sprit for flying an A-sail. The layup, overall finish and hardware installations are top-notch.

With respect to sailing ability, what most impressed our judges was the combination of performance and versatility, all in a surprisingly low-key package. While some of the other boats in this space very much wear their performance cred on their sleeve in the form of a welter of halyards and control lines, the J/99 is a fairly simple platform by comparison. Not that there’s anything wrong with complexity. On the contrary, for an awful lot of sailors out there, it’s all part of the fun. However, there are also an awful lot of other sailors out there, not to mention friends and family when out daysailing, for whom it’s not, and it’s here that the J/99 truly excels. On the one hand, with its tiller and carefully apportioned cockpit, the boat is perfect for such offshore events as the Chicago-Mac race, whether fully crewed or shorthanded. On the other, it’s also the perfect boat for beer-can racing or just tooling around the harbor on a sunny day. Successfully combining these two types of sailing in a single 32ft sloop is no mean feat— and the reason our judges chose the J/99 as the winner in a very strong field."  For more SAIL Magazine's Best Boats 2020 Awards information

2020 J/Calendar
Gorgeous 2020 J/Calendar Hot off the Press!

(Newport, RI)- A sailing calendar is a great gift for loved ones, family, friends and crew.

For 2020, we have created another beautiful calendar for J/Sailors who love the joys of sailing a J in some of the most spectacular harbors and waters of the world. Whether you are a cruising, racing or armchair sailor, these stunning sailboat photographs will transport you to wonderful sailing experiences in faraway places.

The 2020 sailing calendar features the most popular, as well as latest creations, from the J/Design team sailing in many of the world’s most popular sailing areas- Palma Mallorca (Spain), St Barths, Chicago, Lake Garda (Italy), Frutillar (Chile), Lake Thun (Switzerland), Torquay (England), Valle de Bravo (Mexico).
See the gorgeous photo gallery and order your 2019 J/Calendar here

J/99 sailing offshore doublehanded
Award-winning J/99 @ Paris Boat Show!

(Paris, France)- The 2019 edition of the Salon Nautique Paris will be taking place on the southside of Paris in its usual location at the Parc d'Exposition from December 7th to 15th.  The J/Composites team from Les Sables d'Olonne, France will be in attendance with the award-winning J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster at Pavillon 1, Stand 1-G-64.  For Salon Nautique Paris boat show information

Since its debut one year ago, the J/99 has been critically acclaimed by many of the world's leading sailboat analysts as an exciting new entry into the mid-size offshore cruiser-racer marketplace, with a focus on offering an exceptional experience for those focused on short-handed sailing- doublehanded offshore or a family wishing for a fun, fast, easy-to-sail, weekday evening "beer can" racer.  The J/99's pedigree is without peer and her performance is enough to get anyone out for a spontaneous sunset sail with family and friends in comfort and style.  For more J/99 offshore shorthanded speedster sailing information

J/109s sailing Solent
Hamble Winter Series VII Report

(Hamble, England)- The past weekend proved to be a bit of an anti-climax for most teams sailing the Hamble Sailing Club's annual Hamble Winter Series. The lack of a race did little to clarify the remaining positions in the IRC classes. While a number of the prize-winners are now set in stone, or at least Solent mud, there are a number of podium places still to fight for.

In IRC 2, Simon Perry's J/109 JIRAFFE has also been safe at the top for a while. Gavin Howe's J/88 TIGRIS in second is some ten points adrift. Third place will be one of next Sunday’s big battles, including Dirk Van Beek's J/88 SABRIEL JR and Mike and Susie Yates's J/109 JAGO-- a three-way match race" as one old wag put it. How JAGO must wish they could have got rid of that 13 points from Race 6, last week.

J/109 sailing off Cowes, England on Solent
The other big scrap will be at the top of IRC 1, where Ian Atkins Icy and Chaz Ivill's J/112E DAVANTI TYRES have been slugging it out all series. They both have the same four first places and a three two split in second places in favour of Icy. Will the J/112E that has won the class for the two previous years ultimately triumph? Time will tell.

The good news is that the forecast is showing some 15-23 knots of breeze for Sunday. The bad news is that it will be from that tricky NE direction, producing very shifty, streaky, offshore breezes!

As well as the overall prizes, this coming Sunday finale will see the "Yacht of the Series Trophy" presented and the "Paul Heys Trophy", to the best J/Boat, in memory of Paul who was such a great supporter of the HYS Hamble Winter Series. For more HYS Hamble Winter Series sailing information

J/80s sailing off Santander, Spain
FREDO Wins J/80 Mundialito Regatta

(Santander, Spain)- The Real Club Maritimo Santander in Santander, Spain hosted the 2019 J/80 Mundialito Cup Regatta off their famous setting in front of Spain's Pyrenees on the northeastern shoreline of Spain, located on the Bay of Biscay.  The fleet was treated to good racing when the breeze was over the weekend, but it was not without its challenges for the RCM Santander's PRO!

J/80s sailing off Santander, Spain
In the end, it was a past J/80 World Champion- Jose Maria "Pichu" Torcida-Seghers that won the regatta on the fabulous FREDO!  Taking second was Alfredo Gonzalez's EDIFICIO and rounding out the podium was Jose Azqueta-Arrue's BIOBIZZ that took the bronze medal.  The balance of the top five in this always hyper-competitive fleet was determined by a tie-breaker at 10 pts each; winning that countback was Rafael Malo's HATUEY in fourth place and Ignacio Camino-Rodriguez’s ESP 899 in fifth place. For more J/80 Mundialito Regatta sailing information

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Oct 5- Dec 1- Hamble Winter Series- Hamble, England
Nov 23- Hot Rum Series II- San Diego, CA
Nov 30- Dec 1- J/80 Mundialito Regatta- Santander, Spain
Dec 6-8- J/22 Jammin’ Jamaica Regatta- Montego Bay, Jamaica
Dec 7- Hot Rum Series III- San Diego, CA

For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

Sailing to Palm Beach, FloridaWirth Munroe Ocean Race Preview
(Palm Beach, FL)- The Sailfish Club of Florida's 63rd Annual Wirth M. Munroe Ocean Race is set for Friday, December 6th. In 2018, the race added a 40-mile course called "The Sprint", from Fort Lauderdale to Palm Beach, which complemented the existing 60.0nm Miami-to-Palm Beach track, known as "The Classic". Last year, five boats entered The Sprint race and 23 raced on The Classic course.  

The Sprint will start off Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, while The Classic will start off Government Cut in Miami Beach. Both courses will finish off the Palm Beach Inlet. All crews will be welcome at the Sailfish Club’s legendary Rum Punch reception, buffet dinner and awards ceremony. The Classic Course will be scored as part of the SORC's "Islands in the Stream" series, which includes the Miami-Nassau Race, the Lauderdale-Key West Race, the Miami-Havana Race and the Pineapple Cup from Miami to Montego Bay. The Sprint Course will not be scored as part of the series. 

First sailed in 1957, the race begins the winter ocean racing circuit in South Florida. The course presents challenging conditions as yachts must consider the vagaries of the Gulf Stream and the passing of the season’s first frontal systems. In 1957, members of the Florida Station of the Cruising Club of America, led by Dick Bertram, decided to sponsor a race from Miami to Palm Beach and to hold it in early December as racing yachts from the north had arrived by then in preparation for the Southern Ocean Racing Conference held in January and February. In 2016 the Club partnered with the Storm Trysail Club. After the race, the sailors finish the evening with a world-class awards banquet at the Sailfish Club of Florida.

There are a number of J/Teams that are looking forward to their first winter blast up the spectacular, cobalt-blue, Gulf Stream.  In the ORC A Class, Seth Hall & Tom Pollack's J/124 MARISOL from Newport Harbor Yacht Club in Newport Beach, CA will be taking on a very mixed class of the globe-girdling Mills 68 PROSPECTOR down to a Farr 40!

In the ORC B Class, Joe Brito's J/121 INCOGNITO from Newport, RI and Chris Lewis's J/44 KENAI from Seabrook, TX will be taking on another kaleidoscope of sailboats ranging from a GP 26 to an old Aerodyne 38.

The PHRF A Class includes Tom Anderson & Hanson Bratton's J/120 KAIROS from Bayview Yacht Club in Birmingham, MI. Then, in PHRF B Class Bradley Stowers's J/92 HILLBILLY from Indian River Yacht Club in Melbourne, FL will be up against a raft of cruisers like a Little Harbor 54, Baltic 38DP, and Jeanneau 479. In PHRF 7 class is John Kearn's J/88 LOOSE CANNON from Castaways Sailing Club in Jupiter Island, FL.
For more Wirth Munroe Race sailing information and scoring

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide

* This past summer, an all-women's team sailed on the J/92 KNOCKOUT with owner/ skipper Libby Tomlinson from Quantum Sails in Traverse City, MI. They had a very successful season sailing on Grand Traverse Bay.... here is Libby's report on the fun times and the challenges they face...

J/92 women's team
"I’m excited to share that our J/92 KNOCKOUT was named Yacht of the Year at Grand Traverse Yacht Club, in Traverse City, Michigan! The all-women crew of KNOCKOUT came together seven years ago after the husband of a good friend of mine recognized that his wife wanted to get more involved in sailing but felt uncomfortable being the only woman on the boat (typically).  So, we got to talking, and Rob suggested that we go in together on a boat, “for the girls”, and we decided a B-25 would suit the needs and budget nicely.  The name KNOCKOUT came after a long, hilarious, democratic process to name an all-girls boat.

J/92 all women's crew
During the six seasons on the B-25, we enabled over 25 women to get out on the water for Wednesday night racing, a little cruising, and some weekend short-distance events.  At the start of it all, only myself and my foredeck, Petra, knew anything about sailing!  Coaching from the helm, while driving and trimming main, and Petra coaching from the bow, we managed to get everyone up to speed in their positions.  Our first season was also our most successful, being named Yacht of the Year and winning our Intermediate level fleet.

J/92 women's team kids
Being a Knockout crew is something special, and everyone onboard has become part of the team by asking to be there.  We’ve never recruited.  Nonetheless, we’ve grown over the years a bit, in numbers and skill level, and Rob and I both have had children who we wanted to introduce to sailing on a more family-friendly boat.  That led us to wanting a J/92.

I joined the forum and kept watch for boats coming up for sale.  One day last fall, the opportunity came:  Bob Johnston on San Francisco Bay listed his beloved J/92 RAGTIME, hull #18.  I jumped, and about a week later, after a glowing survey, she started the journey across the country from San Francisco to Michigan.  Yes, fall isn’t the best time to buy a boat in Michigan!  She went into heated storage, amongst the area’s most prized auto collectors’ treasures, presiding high.

Come to find out, hull #18 has some special history.  Originally owned by Rod Johnstone himself and named RAGTIME! Yes, the co-founder of J/Boats had sailed her for two summers in the Stonington, CT sailing circles, Off Soundings, Block Island, etc.

Bob Johnston bought RAGTIME in November 2002.  She was in Marion, MA and owned by a former J/24 sailor, Joe Moore.  Joe was/is an engineer and meticulous.  Being in the Northeast, the boat (then called Acrobat) was kept inside for 5 months every year.  Joe sent many photos of every bit of the boat and they had some good conversations, such that Bob bought the boat sight-unseen.

Bob and RAGTIME had many great adventures in their 16 years together, including double-handing to Hawaii once, and single-handing 4 more times!  Besides the Hawaii races, Bob and "Rags" have been the singlehanded season champions in the SSS (200 members), won the local ocean series (most recently singlehanded in 2016 and doublehanded in 2017), and had success in many other races on San Francisco Bay and the coast.

J/92 boat owner- Libby
So, we on the KNOCKOUT crew had a bit of a legacy to live up to!  Our season started out slowly, learning the changes needed to our crew work and positions, adjusting to the bigger loads and honing our teamwork, and getting our rig tuned for our new suit of Quantum sails.  The boat was a delight to sail from the get-go.

We attended every Wednesday night race all summer, finishing the Spring series in second and the Summer series in third.   About mid-season we seemed to hit our stride with a string of bullets in August.  Our biggest competitor, an Express 34 fitted with a bowsprit, had been leading the season and we were quickly coming from behind.  It came down to the final race of the year, winner-take-all, and we managed to take line honors that night!  We also enjoyed a fun race mid-season and dressed up like Rosie The Riveter(s).  And our kids really enjoyed Knockout too! Add to Flipboard Magazine.